I have made six documentary series for BBC Two, which means people sometimes refer to me as a "television historian". I don't really think of myself that way, though. Indeed, when I left academia to become a professional writer, I genuinely never imagined that I would end up as a TV presenter, and always thought that I would hate working in TV.
Fortunately, when the opportunity unexpectedly came, I soon realised how wrong I was. There are few things more enjoyable than working hard with a really talented and enthusiastic team to bring a subject to life. If you get it right, then you can reach an audience far bigger than the readership of even the most popular history book.
I was a complete novice at first, and now I find some of my early appearances painfully inept. By and large I think I've got a bit better at it, though viewers, of course, may disagree.
As well as writing and presenting my BBC Two series, I've appeared as a contributor on an apparently endless number of documentaries. I have to admit I’ve slightly lost track of them, but here's a very partial list:
Rock n Roll Britannia, BBC Four, 2013
Welsh Greats: Aneurin Bevan, BBC Wales, 2012
The Great Train Robbery, ITV, 2012
British Passions on Film, BBC Four, 2012
Cilla’s Unswung Sixties, Yesterday, 2012
The Story of British Pathé, BBC Four, 2011
Anyone for Demis? How the World Invaded the Charts, BBC Four, 2011
Welly Telly: The Countryside on Television, BBC Four, 2011
Heath v Wilson: The Ten Year Duel, BBC Four, 2011
If Walls Could Talk: The History of the Home, BBC Four, 2011
Timeshift: The Story of Capital Punishment, BBC Four, 2011
Timeshift: When Britain Went Wild, BBC Four, 2010
1959: A Panorama Guide, BBC Four, 2010
Maid in Britain, BBC Four, 2010
Men About the House, BBC Four, 2010
Rude Britannia, BBC Four, 2010
Caravans: A British Love Affair, BBC Four, 2009
Auntie’s War on Smut, BBC Four, 2008
How TV Changed Britain, Channel 4, 2008
All About Thunderbirds, BBC Four, 2008
The 60s: The Beatles’ Decade, Yesterday, 2007
I have also made several documentaries for radio, which is probably where more discerning and sensitive viewers think I belong.
© 2017 Dominic Sandbrook
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